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I have an oil on canvas painting that I know nothing about. It measures 7"x8"x3/4". There is a name but I can't make it out. The stretcher bars are old looking. Has anyone seen a frame like this? Homemade or was this typical at some period. I am guessing the painting is not worth anything but I am curious on the age. Any comments are appreciated.

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Replies to This Discussion

That painting is a beauty! Here is a link about the history of stretchers that may help. Seems like the lap joints on yours are reminiscent of early designs.


Your painting definitely looks to have a French influence, in my opinion. It is possible the artist did some training there. Anybody with money at the turn of the century (late 19th/early 20th) would have dabbled artistically overseas. I can’t quite make out the signature, but is the first name a woman’s name?

The name looks like Mona or Mina followed by itiect but really can't make it out. You can see the name better in the photo than on the painting. I did look at both sites listed above and others and have not found anything the same.

Wow- took another photo and I found the name... May Ames

May Ames was born in Cleveland in 1863 and graduated from the Cleveland School of Art in 1900.  She received additional artistic training at the Cleveland Art Club and the Rhode Island School of Design. 

I learned something today, thank you both.

Here's several examples of sold works, including sales price. It appears that as she becomes better known the price goes up. There is a rather bland looking "Ohio Landscape" that sold for $3,700. https://www.aspireauctions.com/#!/search/artist/Ames-May-373  NOTE: IRL doesn't work. GOOGLE: May Ames artist 1900.  Find Aspire Auctions,open. Find A for Ames, rest is easy.

You asked about the frame; there is no frame that I can see. The canvas is stretched. That can be done by the artist, a frame shop or purchased that way.  A frame (no glass) would cover the canvas.

Regarding the age, May Ames usually put in the last 2 digits of the year painted following her name.  I thought earlier her name was Amestz, but now know it's Ames.  tz (TZ) could be 1912, or 1942, or not.

Thanks Tom,

When I said frame I meant the stretchers. I did look at the Aspire site and did send them an email for an auction estimate in case I want to sell. I did not know about the date.

Well the painting has an estimated $200-$400 auction value. Can't retire quite yet.

  You can add photos directly in your posts on this same webpage instead of adding them as attachments.  You have only to click on the icon 2nd from the left where you can see "10 pt" font size.  A new window opens up and you can select the photo from its' location on your computer.  I will appear as shown below so members don't have to open the attachment and go to another website to see your photo.  I lightened your photo a bit so its' easier to view.

Thanks, I will try that.


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